Thursday, March 31, 2005

Back on line, thanks to our tech man.

We had a monkey wrench thrown in the works Tuesday through Thursday afternoon, no thanks at all, or thanks, depending on your point of view or disposition, to Alltel, Siemen's Speedstream 5200, and our thinking that AVG Professional Edition combined with either of two firewalls we had, one of which was supposedly built into the 5200. Oh, and the Windows XP. But I'll leave the topic alone now. My only admonition or advice is to use Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, get yourselves weaned off of Windows XP and Outlook. I cannot recommend Mozilla enough. And if you've any degree of patience, and don't rely on your computer for a living, don't rush into DSL. We might have done better to have our computer man, who has become greatly elevated in our regard, install our DSL for us. Ah, but the price of wisdom, so dearly bought!



Good to be back at the desk again.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Another pitch for BookCrossing

I'm overdue to visit a friend in White Pines, but here I present some one else who does the Book Crossing adventure. Nice to see I'm not the only one.

Moon's waxing Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Another tragedy of war

Chris Hondos, a journalist, tells us of the tragedy of the Hassan family in Mosul.

Venturing beyond Yahoo and Blogger

I feel as if I've tramped around among the Yahoo bulletin boards, even through Blogger. So in the last few weeks I've begun to return and explore once again the sites in the Lycos realm, and yesterday started again delving into the Microsoft Networks. I feel like a character in a William Gibson story.

Have even experimented with accessing the Net via my cell phone. I couldn't do it in town, since we live in a dead zone, but I could do it when we went to the big city on weekends, or in the next town over to the west. And I cancelled it when we decided to splurge on DSL. (I'll be posting another little piece that I've saved as a draft for this week in review).

One of the first blogs, Keith Olberman's Bloggerman, which I checked out in the MSN realm has a reasonable take on the Terri Schiavo tragedy.

-25 March 2005: The week in review

Our second week with DSL is at its end, and we are still having problems: slow performance, freezing, and mail not sending and half the time not getting here. What gives? Still tweaking it. The service is provided by Alltel, with hardware and software from Siemens.

We'll see. In the meantime, I am still looking for work. The agency where I was working as a communications officer has allowed me to resign. Why? Not a simple story, I regret to say. Part of it is I'm a male working in an domain which is traditionally female. Part of it is, I'm a Yankee serving in a community where the ghost of Jim Crow casts a heavy shadow, a presence still felt like a chill on the spine in wet weather.

I fielded a call initiated by a redneck whose vehicle got a rock or brick thrown at it. Rather than let the police handle it, this guy went back to find the culprits. Seems he and maybe his wife or his father in law complained to the agency about me. I didn't get to read the complaint. But I resigned with the provision that negative comments won't be entered into my state record. I'm just glad no body was hurt. That crazy redneck apparently was packing heat.

I'm relieved not to have to work there anymore. Freedom! Such a sweet feeling, when you have it.

Thank G-d it's Friday!

Yeehaw! I did the reports! The reports for the term. Whhhew! Oy I hate paperwork. Hate it with a passion.

We're watching National Velvet, the story of Pie and the Brown family, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Mine and my daughter's first time. Have you seen it before Wilma? "No," she shakes her head, wordlessly.

Donald just spilled the jars of honey and preserves, when he was startled getting his insect jar. Why did they put it there in the first place?

Found a New York Times review of the film.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terror suspect will be extradited to Spain

BRUSSELS-[From Expatica]Belgium is to extradite a Moroccan man accused of being linked to the Madrid bomb attack in March last year.

Youssef Belhadj, 28, was first arrested by the Belgian authorities on 20 March 2004 but released three months later due to a lack of evidence.

He was arrested again in Brussels on 1 February 2005.

A court in Brussels gave the final agreement to his extradition, after his appeal failed.

Belhadj stands accused of being an Al Qaeda spokesman and of belonging to a Moroccan militant Islamic group.

ETA and Batasuna Party two separate entities

22 March 2005

MADRID-Spain's ruling Socialists deny having any contact with a Basque party outlawed for links to separatist violence.

They have rejected calls from the main opposition conservatives for a review of the allegations under the terms of the anti-terrorism pact the two big national parties signed in 2000.

Batasuna, banned by the courts in 2003 for its ties to the Basque terrorist group ETA, denounced as a "lie" the claim that it has a "communication channel" with the Socialists, while emphasizing its readiness to meet with people of all political persuasions.

Summit today in Waco, Texas: Canada, Mexico & US

The main topic on the agenda will be "the signing of a new accord aimed at improving the security and economies of the three countries.

The White House portrayed the initiative as unparalleled in its scope. It is meant to be both complimentary of existing cooperative arrangements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Binational Commission of U.S. and Mexican officials and the Smart Border effort with Canada, and yet also more expansive and goal-oriented, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity."

Read more in today's Washington Post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Good morning! What's going on?

I'm starting my second cup of coffee. Annie's been gone on the bus now five minutes, just about. I'm driving to the big city to work for a friend there today, doing some moving and filing.

Got a response from a test message to LJ, whose energetic Blogorific I discovered last week.

Not much time to write this morning, since I've got to get on the road and into the morning traffic into the City.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Vernal Equinox

Garrison Keillor made no mention of it on his web almanac page, but I thought about it as I drove to the track. Star Watch just reminded me.

Act now to save Social Security!

Mr. Bush and those who wish to "salvage" Social Security with their personal or private account schemes apparently are distorting the truth. All right, I'll say it, they're lying.

Jim Hightower has a very different view of this program which Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law in 1935. "Social Security works. It is a phenomenal success, having achieved and continuing every day to achieve its noble purpose which was stateled plainly by FDR.."We have tried to frame a law that will give some measure of protection to the average citizen...against poverty-ridden old age."

As I said the other day, Mr. Hightower expresses this more clearly and simply than I could. Read the Lowdown for March.

If you would like to do your part to keep Mr. Bush and his cronies from wrecking one of the few good things federal government has done for the common man and woman, please sign the petition at www.unionvoice.org/campaign/ProtectSocialSecurity.

You can send e-mails to your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.aarp.org/socialsecurity.

There is still more that needs to be done if we're going to keep those people from destroying our Social Security. Act now before it's too late!

Hoorah! I did it! --running again

Well, you may notice below that my first post was titled "First day of the rest of my life." Yeah, I'm in one of those moods, if you can call this renewed push to reform my life a mood. There's some optimism at play here.

I drove to the nice running track a couple of counties over, with my son, and pushed him in the stroller as I ran a mile, counting off the thirds and halves of laps with him.

Kafka Fragments, by Gyorgy Kurtag

Did anyone go to listen and see Dawn Upshaw perform last January at Zankel Hall in New York? I understand this was directed by Peter Sellars, with Geoff Nuttall from the St. Lawrence String Quartet involved somehow. Playing the violin, perhaps? I read about it in the "Goings on About Town" in New Yorker, issue of January 10th.

I did find a review of that performance with a photograph or still of the theatre performance, on The Brooklyn Rail.

[Posting revised 14:38]

The first day in the rest of our lives

Happy Birthday Bach! For more birthdays, see the Writers' Almanac.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Colored baloons, by Annie Franck Posted by Hello

Dog, sit! by Annie Franck. Posted by Hello

Don't let Mr. Bush wreck social security

Jim Hightower says it best in his Lowdown newsletter.

A dream story from my romantic youth

_____The sky was very gray the morning Marc woke to discover treachery. Looking out the French window (which was so only in its dimensions, as if before him opened an empty door, and a battered frame of few dusty panes) Marc noticed a sky and horizon not deeply dark--as on a moonless night-- but with a cloud ceiling so low as to appear ominous. The still sleeping village below, strewn on the slopes to the bay, like so many pale cubes with burgundy lids on top each one, had blended into an almost featureless background-- Marbella as seen through lawyers of gauze--wooded hills off toward the left, as the bay rounded out again to sea, locking jigsaw-wise with the peninsulita, a woodsy crag upon which a few fisher folk had chiseled and built a few white-washed, red-tiled cottages.

_____"I'm cold," he thought, while throughout the valley, flowing outward, downward to the bay, there was a chill wind blowing, slightly at first, then steadily stronger. Like a David, marble in the moonlight, bare and muscled with not a whit of clothing, he stood in the room. Marc gazed out the tall frame, a boundary seeming to lack definition without its panes, holding on to the sides, and stared out to the quicksilver waters, and to the gray and black clouds so thick, so low, slowly moving in, steadily gathering.
_____He turned his back to the open window, a long and low window whose sill almost leveled with the varnished floor, rather like a balcony, then cast a sweeping gaze at the room. To his right, there were two more of the same windows. The glass in these also had been knocked out long ago, he saw, for the sills were dirty with dust and gray fragments. Some shards of glass reflected silver light from the ridges, slots, and corners there. The walls were of a lusterless creamy tone, dull white where the plaster had cracked and fallen away, and everywhere else, simply bare.
_____Letting his arms fall to his sides, he breathed a long sigh, walked toward the centre of the room, and stopped before a solitary cot. This had been set by a small and ancient wood table, the kind you set your glass of water on, before resting on the cot to read your novel, until you tire of reading, shut the book, and turn out the light.
_____But there was no lamp on the table, no book by the non-existent lamp, and the glass was empty. The cot was mere mattress, and an old woolen blanket of a blue and green checkered pattern, carelessly left thrown aside, drooping over the edge of the cot to the dirty wooden floorboards.
_____Seeing all this in a glance, the youth turned around, and from a wobbly-legged, worm-eaten chair, took a baggy pair of long underwear--worn, but the whitest thing in the room-- and slowly began, first right leg, and left, to pull them on. As he did this, he listlessly stared out each of the two windows to his right. He'd been standing in front of one of them; the other was the only window with the panes still in place-- one stood above the other, and this one was cracked. Both were still in place and dusty. On the chair, there remained a white tee shirt and a red plaid flannel shirt. Draped over the back were his blue jeans and thick white socks. Under the cot, half exposing their dulled and dirty snouts, were a worn pair of blue suede running shoes.
_____When he had put on his underclothes, jeans, shirt, socks, and shoes, he arose from the cot, walked again to the open window, and stood there, one hand on each side of the frame. He stared out to sea, to the horizon barely discernable from the clouded sky.
_____Behind him, he heard a door open. He turned to face it.
_____Mara stood on the threshold. He'd met her not more than three months before, on the great gray flagstones of the Patio de Letras, where the reddish-orange and black bubble-eyed Moor carp chased miniscule prey in gentle doodled paths of mercuric darkness in the centre of a magic rectangular pool. On one of the bulletin boards of the Centr?l he'd posted a notice offering an exchange of English for Catal?n. Mara had answered, one rainy night, with a telephone call to the house on Calle del Conde. When he first heard her voice, he knew that they would love each other in this dreams.
_____She looked perturbed, strangely serene. Entering the room, she tucked her blouse in her jeans, all the while fixing him with a stare he could not discern. He noticed that over each tungsten gray iris, her lashes fluttered a bit too fest, her thin brows furrowed slightly. Without taking her gaze from his eyes, she stepped over the cot, confronting him. The clasped each other's hands, observing each other's eyes, searching minutely each feature of the other's face.
_____Now he felt the breeze again, cool but stronger. It made both of them tremble. He felt sad, very empty, cold and empty. Bending ever so slightly, still holding her hands between their chests, he lightly kissed her on the lips, pink chapped lips, slightly open and loose, slightly quivering. The evenly rhythmic churning of the waves seemed less distant.
_____They kissed. Tentatively at first, then stretching out their arms around each other's waists, surrounding, feeling, grasping tightly, the kiss intensified tighter, tongues reaching outward, inward, retreating, caressing, probing, writhing, dancing in the hot wet arena of red flesh carpet and ivory dolmen, dancing in electrolyte of saliva, a bath of tantalizing ecstasy, where there ignited of themselves tingling currents of excitement. The kiss was hot and bright in the darkness of their joined selves, wet and dark in the light of their desperate joy.

_____Then a burst of cold wind blasted into the room, whipping the blanket off the cot, knocking the glass to the hardwood floor. The glass hit the planks, cracked, and rolled toward the two youths, stopping but still rocking slightly, jagged edge up.
_____Marc turned to look upon the town. Then, in sudden shock, he felt the chill through his spine as his eyes locked onto the scene below.
_____The dark waters of the bay no longer turbulently pounded against the sea wall, but rolled over the narrow streets, covering the docks, the fishing village, the marketplace, and the rest of the town, still the water leveled with the red tiled roofs. The frothing waters reached the walls of the house where Mara and Marc stood, pounding against the stone walls below the very window where they stood together.
_____He had released her, had turned to stand at the open window, one foot up on the sill, dumb, mouth open uncomprehendingly, to stare at the murkiness devouring the town.
_____He felt a firm hand on his shoulder, the other on his waist, her chin on his right shoulder. Suddenly she was pushing him! His heart rose to his throat as he lurched forward, grasping tightly to the window frame, detaining himself precariously over falling bits of plaster, paint, and pigeon droppings. The debris vanished in the turbulent, voracious waters below.
_____Regaining his balance, Marc stepped back, wheeling himself to face Mara. She stood rigidly, facing him, pale and frightened.
_____But neither of the lovers said a word. Even the roar of the floodwaters reverberated through their thoughts, becoming as a universal mind-static. His heart fired a hot staccato. The nearness of the salty death brought a strong chill to his throat, which now rasped as he breathed.
_____Behind Marc frothed the black waters, the rising flood, the swelling eddies and currents, sucking whirlpools, spinning boats, carts, and debris. The wind blew fiercely, while the sky darkened to share the sea's obscurity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

GPB fundraiser: 'Tis that time of the year again!

What time? you say? March Madness? Yes, but I'm talking about something else too --time for the fundraiser for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Of course, if you live somewhere else, you may be more inclined to support your state or province's public broadcasting entity, but since I live here I'll write or talk about GPB and you may mentally fill in your own community broadcasting or public communications service.

Those of you, who have read this blog, may have found mention of NPR or GPB programming. In our household, we have NPR tuned in and we're listening to it the way many American households have their television sets on. Oh, and we watch GPB too, every morning and some evenings. Our children watch the children's programming in the morning, usually from 06:00 till 10:00 at least.

We also watch NOVA or National Geographic, or some other program on history, sociology, arts, or literature. I've even found myself watching the sports and cheerleading from schools right here in Georgia. Mind you, I'm not what most people would call a sports fan. But GPB and NPR encourage the spirit of inquiry. I find myself having fun learning, and learning to have fun.

One other great thing about this public broadcasting is that it is practically non-commercial. Really, there are NO commercials, not like you have with other advertisement-based television. Other than a few discrete and short messages giving credit to sponsors, you are not presented with the crass marketing and other high-powered advertising that interrupts other channels' programming. So you can watch a story, or concentrate on a history, science program, or other educational or artistic presentation. And THAT is a wonderful thing in this day and age.

So give what you can to your public radio and television. Keep in mind now that there is a generous amount of web content too that corresponds to these other two more traditional media. If you are not familiar with NPR, GPB, or any of the other state or province public communications services, you may start by checking out GPB and NPR. I'll be revisiting these and other related services in the future, as a way of encouraging you all to learn, support learning and the arts, and these valuable services.

Raining on Wotan's day, 16 March 2005 11:18

Our street's lined by gutters filled with steely grey rain water, punctuated throughout the seconds by the circular and concentric waves of raindrops falling. The hiss of wet tires on the film of water on the asphalt slides across the hearing like a knife spreading warm butter on smooth bread slices.

Got to get out and hit the road looking for work. By the sweat of our brow, as they say. God help us, this humanity.

My son Altgeld just came back from the library with a film in video cassette form, Snow White.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Stop Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling

I'd been working on technical matters at home, not really getting much done, from yesterday morning till now. Made more progress todayI am a Sierra Club member.

Today I've received the following message, which I'm posting here:
Calls to the U.S. Senate are needed now to stop a proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Please make a quick call using the toll free number and the short statement below. When you call, you'll be connected with your senators' offices and will speak briefly with aides. Your calls will only take a minute but will make a huge difference because relatively few citizens take the time to call.

Don't have time to speak to your senators' offices?

When you call the toll free number below you can opt to have a free fax sent on your behalf.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Call your senators TOLL FREE: 1-888-WILDAK (1-888-894-5325)

Suggested statement to make when you call:

I am a constituent and I urge the senator to oppose allowing drilling in the Arctic Refuge in the budget bill. The part of the refuge that would be developed is one of the most important natural areas on the planet and should be protected as a wilderness.

Three arrests of ETA members in Spain

This item came from the Expatica internet news agency:

Police arrested Eder Aritz Lizaso, 23, in a raid on a house in Zizur.
In Pamplona, officers detained Mikel Ciaurriz Marco, 24, in a raid on his home.
Finally, they arrested Gorka D?ez de Ulzurrun Coronado, 25, in Forua.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Monday, 14 March 2005

"We need soldiers in Fallujah who shoot straight, not necessarily who are straight," said Patrick Guerriero, president of the gay-rights group Log Cabin Republicans. He was arguing that the military in the US should drip its don't ask don't tell policy.
(From the "Perspectives" section in Time magazine 14 March 2005)

8:28 a.m. John Boy and Billy are joking and laughing from my radio. Weather cloudy, cool. Dragon Land is now playing. Annie slept late. She got sick Saturday night, and is probably still recovering. Now set frequency to listen to KIX 96. 64° Fahrenheit. Kenny Hill is a representative from the Savannah Waterfront Association. He’ll be interviewed by KIX on Saint Patrick’s Day.
1930 on the main stage at River Street. Performance starts. Liquid something or other. Loch Ness Johnny. 21:00 McFly will play. Jupiter Coyote on Friday night. M&M’s in Wormsloe. Left Foot Tyre. Something like "River Dance" or "Stomp"? --Revival Bone Pony! These are some of the musicians and performing groups lined up this week.

My pick for weightiest story this Monday morning is “DeLay Ethics Allegations Now Cause of GOP Concern” by Mike Allen, Washington Post Staff Writer, on page A-1:

'House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has dismissed questions about his ethics as partisan attacks, but revelations last week about his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists under investigation have emboldened Democrats and provoked worry among Republicans.

'With some members increasingly concerned that DeLay had left himself vulnerable to attack, several Republican aides and lobbyists said for the first time that they are worried about whether he will survive and what the consequences could be for the party's image.

'Despite questions about his ethics, Tom DeLay receives a warm welcome in Sugar Land, Tex., where he once ran a pest-control business. At least six Republicans have recently said they are worried about the allegations.

"If death comes from a thousand cuts, Tom DeLay is into a couple hundred, and it's getting up there," said a Republican political consultant close to key lawmakers. "The situation is negatively fluid right now for the guy. You start hitting arteries, it only takes a couple." The consultant, who at times has been a DeLay ally, spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying he could not be candid otherwise.'

(Larry Pullen For The Washington Post) (read further…)

Perhaps it is telling that as criticism of the House Leader increases, he goes to a place where his support is likely to be the strongest.

This Monday morning I was curious as to what might be going on in the realm of chat. For a search of “chat plus Monday morning” I got the following links:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49666-2004Nov14.html ( For news chat)

There are the chat groups in the recovery category:

http://www.phassociation.org/Message_Boards/detail.asp?Id=42691 (pulmonary hypertension)

http://meningitis-angels.org/chattimes.htm (families with meningitis)

And for you VW fans:
http://www.volkszone.com/VZi/showthread.php?t=152237 (Volkswagon U.K.)

I’ve a feeling today should be a journalism and writing day, maybe with a visit to the news journal in Vidalia. Time now is two minutes till nine. And Anthony just called from Alltel saying our DSL is hooked up and ready to go when we install the modem. Country music continues to play on the radio in the corner of the room.

Bush vindicated

I may have missed something, but Fareed Zakariah's essay in Newsweek, 14 March of this years seems almost a reversal of his previous writings. He seems now to have become an apologist for Mr Bush and those optimists who promote their vision of a democratic Iraq.

"Bush never accepted the view that Islamic terrorism had its roots in religion or culture or the Arab-Israeli conflict. Instead, he veered toward the analysis that the region was breeding terror because it had developed deep dysfunctions caused by decades of repression and an almost toal lack of political, economic, an dsocial modernization...."

Let's hope for the sake of reform in the Arab world that Mr. Zakariah and the President are right on this.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Bleu, by Krzyztof Kieslowski

I just watched Bleu for the second time. And finished watching it I think for the first. It's a very powerful psychological portrait of a woman who has lost her husband and daughter, who has a legacy of music to carry on. It's more than this.
But I must sleep. I have realized long ago that my body and mind and soul are struggling with a thing which has grown, which has become exascerbated by my time in Iraq. I feel as if I'm one of the characters in a Star Trek story who has become infected with an alien presence, an alien being which is growing in me.
I will vanquish it. But this is a struggle, as if I am Odin fighting the great Serpent which coiled about the world.

A promising young poet from India

Nikhil Parekh was a winner in the last contest held by this Association of Young Journalists and Writers.

Sun day, Three and tenth day third month

1st day week, 13th day of the 3rd month. 13th hour and 8th minute. Sun shining. Short sleeves' weather.

Drug trade activity not heavily apparent. Some kids, maybe with gang colors wending their way down our street. Who knows.

Listening to "From the Top." Have been doing some paint, but my kids' have more talent than I today. Am in neutral mode today. Just want to vedj'.

Well, almost five hours later, I've gone from the house, driven to Camp Swampy, and come back again at the monitor. Am listening with one ear to Weekend Edition. Enjoyed a St. Peter's English Ale for the first time. And I found a couple of gems to share with you all.

First, while visiting the Dublin Global Chat Room this morning, I got a reference to an on-line journal and association of journalists and writers. They've got some promising writers and good links to universities and other literary links. Besides, they're running a contest with lucrative prizes. Check it out:

$10,000.00 - Grand Prize - Awarded annually to the best and most active writer.

$1,000.00 - First Prize - Awarded annually to the best writer.

$500.00 - Second Prize - Awarded annually to the most active writer.

$250.00 - Value Prize - Awarded monthly to the month's most dedicated writer and participant. This prize is usually web storage space or hosting but may also include other prizes of an equal value.


Sharper Image Wireless Weather Station with Atomic Clock and Rain Gauge - Raffled on June 30th, 2005. Every member is eligible. Each piece of writing submitted is an extra ticket. One ticket is drawn at random to select the winner.


Saturday, March 12, 2005

What are we doing now?

What are you doing now, I wonder? What could I be doing? Yet if I were doing something else, when would I write? Early before sunrise? Then I'd have to compensate by going to sleep earlier in the evenings.

The thing about writing is that while you're dong it, you're not actually acting primarilly, you're writing about acting.

However, that statement is contradicted by the truth that writing is itself an act.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Our first glimpse at gang life in California

The news that gang members in Pelican Bay (and perhaps other prisons, who knows?) are using Nahuatl, inspired me to fire up a search engine to start an investigation. This led me to Mr. Sancho, a group on MSN, which represents the Surenos, also known as the XIII gang.

This might be a real eye-opener for many Americans, especially since these days our attention has been re-directed by the media to the wars outside of our nation. This tends to leave forgotten the war in our own midst. Therefore, I've placed a link above to the Surenos, whose color is blue, and a links below to the Nortenos, whose color is red. I would like to make it clear that as a journalist, I remain neutral, and desire to inform you all. These stories need to be told.

"INSIDE PELICAN BAY by Mike Geniello, The Press Democrat

Instructions are written in tiny print on small scraps of paper that are wrapped in protective coverings and hidden in body cavities of departing prison parolees and inmate visitors.

Called "kites" or "wilas," the smuggled messages are a key part of an elaborate communications system that has enabled Nuestra Familia gang leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison, 250 miles north of Santa Rosa, to run organized crime syndicates on the streets of Northern California communities, authorities say...
[Pelican Bay prison investigator Piland and Andrew Mazzanti, a Sonoma County district attorney investigator who worked with Piland and others] discovered that imprisoned gang leaders devised elaborate codes, including the use of the Huazanguillo dialect of the ancient Aztec language Nahautl.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Happy Birthday, Frank Morrison!

I didn't know Mickey Spillane was Irish. It makes sense, his name being Mickey. Here's the official Mike Hammer web site.

Catching up on recent history from Ireland


Forwarded from From INAC
To: Unit chairs, regional directors,
members of the board
From: Gerry Coleman
Re: 1] Background: Arrests in Dublin,
Cork and Cash find at Belfast
PSNI complex
2] Gerry Adams’ Statement

Date: 19 February 2005

It is unclear where things stand at the moment.
Gerry Adams’ remarks
which follow states the situation best
and the attitude Irish Northern
Aid will assume at the present time.

Look for a long, drawn out investigation
featuring uneven police work,
strategic leaks, and innuendo.
It suits those opposed to the peace
process on one side, and those
opposed to Sinn Fein for political gain
on the other, to drag this out
into the months ahead or for as long as
it has legs.

The real danger is that the Good Friday Agreement
and moving the peace
process will be put on the back burner.

1] Background: Arrests in Dublin and Cork;
Cash find in Belfast
PSNI sports complex

Media reports and Garda statements
indicate the arrest of seven people
and cash seizures in Dublin and Cork
allegedly associated with the
Northern Bank robbery in December 2004.
Garda Commissioner Noel
Conroy told a news conference Thursday
night that police were still in
the early stages of their investigation.
He said, "We are following
quite a number of lines as to where
the money may have come from, and
naturally enough, one of those relates
to the Northern Bank robbery."


Another Garda spokesman, Superintendent
Kevin Donohoe, said: “It
should be clearly understood
that this is an extremely complex
investigation with many facets
which require further extensive
inquiries. While Gardai are satisfied
with the extensive progress
made within the last three days,
it can be expected that this
investigation will continue for some time
. . . in light of this,
Gardai will not be disclosing
any further detailed aspects of this
investigation.”

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Iraqi refugee speaks via the Internet

In the Yahoo group, Tomb Raider--the Ride, I found this unlikely message:

Hi there,

I am SAM, an Iraqi refugee living in Lebanon at the moment; I have spent the
last 10 years of my life as a refugee registered with the UNHCR in Beirut. Thelast 4 years, I have spent as an activist for peace and human rights (especially
refugees and asylum seekers) on the Internet; I'm also books author and ebooks
publisher. I have launched many campaigns to improve our situation as refugees
in Lebanon and hopefully bring more understanding to our problems worldwide. I
helped make many changes and improvements at the UNHCR office in Beirut; I used
the Internet as the field for my activities (you can read more about that in my
free ebook ‘MY CAMPAIGNS’). All my ebooks could be download from my websites,
all my ebooks are free.

This is my newest campaign, it’s about the illegal and humiliating actions of
the UNHCR, who using photos of refugees as banners and human-buttons to collect
money. This is an abuse of the dignity and humanity of the refugees and must
stop immediately and a clear public apology present by The United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees. My friends, I am talking about the pictures you can
see here:

Unfortunately, some hacker or somebody got his web link connected to a virgin porn site, which I backed out of before it loaded, fearing a plethora of pop-ups and possibly a virus, a worm, or more... But I searched for his name plus U.N.H.C.R. and got a good link.

No raise for you, working people!

We learn this morning that the U.S. Senate voted down both versions of the bankruptcy bill, S. 256, which would have also had a provider, whatever you call it, that increases the minimum wage. There were Democrat and Republican plans, but you can learn the details here. Note: the Senate has increased their salaries numerous times in the last couple decades, but minimum wage, what the "regular folk" earn by the sweat of their brow, remains the same.

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

On this day were born Kenneth Grahame(1859- ),the author of The Wind in the Willows, John McPhee(1931- ), literary journalist and author of over a couple of dozens of books. The latter is known for his wide range of subjects, from New Jersey Pine Flats to hippies creating community near the Yukon, in Alaska.

Am blogging on the fly, today. Going to work on resume's, applications, and lesson plans. See ya.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Languages revived to transmit secrets

I heard on All Things Considered that prisoners at Pelican State and elsewhere, gang members, that is, are using Nahuatl, Swahili, and Celtic (do they mean Irish Gaelic?) as "secret languages" to transmit messages. Is this also verbal, or only written?

By the coffee corner. Looks like I'd already started my first cup. That red shirt is what I liked to wear in cold weather. Posted by Hello

The incarnation of Violins.
Crickets and crickets by thousands,
the chorus shrill sing chorus loud.
a Thousand lonely voices made One.

Incarnation of Violet.
Blood and Nobility murex
i wept in silent rage
your Peace beyond fingertips
Always sunset ever Horizon.

in Carnation of Violence.
machete steel rough-smooth steel
under-thrust, razor-sharp--
lifted arm, strength in Strike:
pulsing pulsing scarlet loss.

___I would like to dedicate this for the remembrance of all victims of war, especially these wars which echo through our small world.

A moment of silence

For Nicola Calipari, who died saving yet another person from the terrorists.

Selected poetry from Rasgos

The dissonant harmony of screaming chords,
stretched or scratched as flint on glass,
the martial striving of woodwinds,
the primal throaty yell--
these sounds a triumphant weeping
of snow-covered volcano and bonsai
on windswept cliff.
i thrill in exquisite joy
am i yes i am
yours forever in this moment
of the courage to immortalize this moment
i surrender myself to the greatest law
and to the least being.

Your love is in me and i
am within you in our dream
let me offer myself as an appetizer
before you have sampled of earth's feast

i laugh at my awkwardness
in joyful tears
and hope to sprout wings
with which to soar
in the grace of our sacrifice.
_________Can i treasure this moment?
will live only if i give it away...

You had surrendered your existence to me
in a breath, and i could not accept
the responsibility, but gave you back
your lonely freedom.
Then we each breathed in chill sea breeze.

Your musk, like a heavy liquor of day lily
i savour and keep, savour and weep.
Who am i to dare taste of this nectar?

A savannah in flame is
a terrible thing to behold;
but is the memory of your eyes,
the remembrance of the touch
of my lips and yours, my skin
and your fingers, any less painful?

_________Memphis, Tennessee
_________St. John's Day
_________27 December 1989

Experiencing anxiety, staying chill

And listening to All things considered, which may not be the best for my present state. Considering people are all riled up in Lebanon over Syrian presence or the protest against it, depending on their point of view. This judge's mother and husband were killed in Chicago. That security agent got killed saving the Italian journalist, Sgreta, or whatever her name is. But I don't want to just shut off what is happening in the world.

Here's where I'm realizing I have to pray, reflect, meditate. I have to remember I'm powerless for so much of this.

Sunny Monday, start of another work week

13:00 Such a pretty day, one might think this should be a holiday. Yesterday was the anniversary of the founding of the city of Toronto, which first was called York. But today? Have yet to check the almanacs. I worked late last night, and found it hard to get up this morning, still not getting my ideal of eight hours of sleep.

The on-line resume' I worked to update last night is too long! Got to shorten it! And I need to try to get a face to face with a manager at a local institute regarding a job. O.K. I've edited again. Looks better now, if still too long for a hard copy resume'.

Yikes! I found I'd accidentally taken some educational materials that belonged to a different NGO. I'll go retrieve them after this post, return them to the rightful owners. Oh, geez, I feel bad. Better go take care of that quick.

Will work for food!

Seriously, I'm available and looking for work as a teacher, trainer, marketing trainee, or mystery shopper. I've managed to stay both employed and flexible, by juggling four part-time jobs, collecting and selling scrap metal, and thanks to an industrious wife who markets used clothing, books, appliances, just about anything you can move. Now I'm moving into the marketing and ad biz.

Just updated my resume' on Yahoo's Hot Jobs. Tomorrow, Lycos and a drive over to a High School to leave an updated copy of my c.v. and a cover letter. Am maintaining an open mind, staying flexible, keeping my motivation level high.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Back to work I must be

____I won't lie. I'm in my skivvies, slippers, and housecoat, and it's already thirty-four minutes past ten, well past the middle of the morning! Tuesday I worked 24 hours straight through, so I suppose I'm still recovering. But I've got to get hot on these reports, which were due last night.

____I'm losing this match. Had doubled after losing the initiative, which is something a serious player should never do. I only say I do it because this is on the net, not on any record, and definitely not being played for money. There, my last lonely little piece on his home board's been bounced. The jig is up. Or is it? I just bounced him back. No, no, he's got too many pieces off his board already.

____And so I resigned, offering him a gammon of four points. And the answering machine's not working. Got to go. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about this great little story-book, Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. A most excellent read this is, not just a children's story, but a novel with animal characters which is chock full of subtle British humor(now Mr. Grahame was a Scotsman, I've read), observations about human and animal behavior which are quite spot-on, actually.

____The story begins in Spring, as Mole is doing his spring cleaning, and gets fed up with it. He decides to break free of his chores, and goes adventuring. Climbing up a tunnel and scraping away the cover, he bursts forth into a run, not stopping till he gets to the River, which he's never seen before. And the adventures begin! I won't say any moreabout the plot-- it would be spoiling it for you. However, there are interesting turns which make this well worth the reading for the serious literary scholar. No kidding.
____The humanization of the characters of Mole, River Rat, Badger, Toad, the Weasels and Stoats is authentically English, reflected in the voices and thoughts of our Riverine and Forest heros and villains.
____I promise you won't be disappointed, as long as you've any taste at all for stories. My four year old doesn't want to hear it read yet, as the illustrations, done in ink by Ernest H. Shepard, don't appeal to her, but I'll be either making my own, or looking for an illustrated copy at the library, as we're quite low in funds now. For you more mature readers and art lovers, I assure you the illustrations are very good, rather whimsical but charming.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Night on the Kuskokwim. My son caught sight of this image, and exclaimed "A moon!' Now he says,"Bye bye moone!"  Posted by Hello